No matter how devoted property managers are to their customer base, it’s inevitable that sometimes customers may end up disappointed, after all we’re all just human. So, what happens when one of your customers have voiced that they are unhappy with your service or had negative customer service experience? What is the best way to handle a complaint?
The first thing to remember is that a complaint or negative feedback is not an attack, it’s a reaction that can be overcome but to do that, you have to remain calm and collected so as to not aggravate the customer further and grasp what has happened.
Listen to what happened without interrupting. Give customers your undivided attentions and allow them to feel heard. Listening is a key element of empathy, and showing you understand your customers perspective can help them realize that you are on the same team. It is important to keep your tone personalized, not scripted. But to help convey your empathy you can consider using customer service driven “empathy phrases” when it is time to respond, such as:
“I understand how that could be frustrating… “
“I’ll work with our team to resolve this”
“Let me know if I’m misunderstanding you.”
According to Harris Interactive, 79% of customers who complained about their customer experience online were ignored. By validating a customer experience that was negative, you can change the narrative between your company and that customer. When you acknowledge a complaint online you have the opportunity to turn a negative review into a positive review depending on how its handled. Dimensional Research says that positive online reviews are read 6% more than negative reviews, but you won’t have that opportunity to convert a negative experience if you don’t acknowledge it first.
Investigate complaints further by asking the customer follow up questions and other parties involved what happened. This will help pinpoint any places where you can adjust your customer approach to effectively avoid similar issues in the future. It is crucial to try and get the most accurate representation of what really happened to ensure that you can respond appropriately without underestimating the impact the issue has on a customer.
Find a solution
Execute a solution in a response to a complaint. Apologizing can help customers forgive you, but they won’t be happy if they have the same experience again in the future. A solution can help ease the disappointment and feeling of negativities by offering an unsatisfied customer a bonus, a discount, or any extra treat, but it is also to not cover up any existing problems with a band aid. Ensure that your striving to create a sustained fix to the actual problem at hand.
Once you have executed a solution, to evaluate the effectiveness, you should follow up with a customer who has complained. This provides an opportunity to gage the effectiveness of your company’s response and the customer’s satisfaction with the solution.
It’s absolutely essential that companies get ahead of customer complaints before they turn into patterns, research from ThinkJar shows that only 1 of 26 customer complain when they have a negative experience and the remaining 96% of unhappy customers will move to a competitor.